Unexpected bank charges can spoil your holiday

Easter means that many of us start to think about holidays and that means booking flights and hotels and cars. It also means we need to think about the best way to use money and cards when we are overseas and every year thousands of holidaymakers come home to unexpected bills because they hadn’t realised the consequences of using credit cards abroad.
Taking the right credit card abroad can be one of the most cost-effective ways of spending and can offer you additional protection on your purchases, according to some new research from gocompare.com. Most cards on the market charge a ‘non-sterling transaction fee’, every time you use your card abroad. The average fee charged is 2.9%, which means you could end up paying a significant amount during your holiday.
Withdrawing cash from a hole-in-the-wall machine can be even more expensive with fees ranging from 2% to 5% on top of the non-sterling fee. This could lead to charges of up to £8 for every £100 taken out.
While using a credit card abroad can seem like a safe option, Matt Sanders from cocompare.com reckons that we do need to be careful. “While opting for a card over cash has benefits such as increased protection should it be lost or stolen; it’s well worth checking whether your provider will charge you for using your credit card overseas as the majority will. The average fee charged for overseas card use is 2.9%, which can easily add up if you’re doing the bulk of your holiday spending on your credit card or plan on making any big purchases while you’re away. Remember, this fee is added on top of any additional transaction fees you might face, for instance a restaurant service or credit card charge. There are some cards on the market that don’t charge a fee for overseas use, so if you are considering spending on plastic while you’re on holiday, it could be worth getting online and shopping around for a card that suits your needs while you’re away.”
So as Matt says, don’t just assume that the card you currently use is the best one to take with you on holiday. Do a bit of digging around and check the terms and conditions of your card before you travel.
And avoid taking cash out of an ATM until you have checked how much it will cost you.

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